Published on December 31, 2007
The Puea Pandin and Chart Thai parties will meet to decide whether to accept an invitation from the People Power Party to form the next government.
Puea Pandin deputy leader Dr Pruetichai Damrongrat said the party's executive board would meet at the house of party chief adviser Vatana Asavahame on Wednesday.
The party met on Saturday but could not reach a decision on whether to join the PPP because it wanted to wait for the result of the red and yellow cards to be issued by the Election Commission.
Puea Pandin spokesman Wachiramon Kunakasem said the party would make its decision based on the government's stability and the country's reconciliation.
Chart Thai deputy leader Somsak Prissanananthakul said yesterday that the party would meet Puea Pandin leaders at Vatana's house and announce its decision at a press conference after the meeting.
Chart Thai deputy secretary-general Warawuth Silapa-archa said the party would heed the public's response over whether it should join with the PPP because Chart Thai had said it would side with the Democrats.
"We will listen to the public voice to see if joining with the PPP is acceptable,'' he said.
Chart Thai deputy leader Weerasak Kwosurat said public faith was important. "We want to know what the public feels about the move,'' he said. "The move has to have support. This decision has the country's interests at stake. Chart Thai wants to end the country's rifts and conflict.''
He said that before the Palang Dharma Party had joined a previous government, it requested to see the tentative Cabinet list and proposed there must not be a Cabinet agenda without its knowledge.
A highly placed Chart Thai source said the party was trying to buy time until January 18 to wait for the result of the yellow and red cards issued by the Election Commission.
"The party will tell the public that it is not the right time to make the decision because red and yellow cards are to be issued,'' he said.
He said the PPP had leaked rumours that Chart Thai had agreed to join its coalition because it wanted to attack the party later. The PPP would be able to claim that Chart Thai had not kept its word if it decided to shun a coalition after the result of the yellow and red cards was known.
Meanwhile, Matchima Thipataya deputy leader Banyin Tangpakorn said the PPP had earlier proposed two Cabinet seats for the party for joining the government on the assumption that the coalition would have 254 lawmakers. But if the coalition members increased to 315 should Chart Thai and Puea Pandin come aboard, the number of ministerial seats the party would get may drop, he added.
"We hope they do not reduce the quota for us. We decided to join them first and they should not negotiate to reduce our quota,'' he said.
Matchima Thipataya deputy spokesman Somporn Longji said party leader Prachai Leophairatana was still waiting for an answer from party secretary-general Anongwan Thepsuthin on whether the party should join with the PPP.
Prachai called a meeting to decide the matter but due to internal fighting between his and Anongwan's group, the meeting was disrupted by the party's registrar and deputy leader Thanaporn Sriyakul. Prachai later called off the meeting.